Bathrobe photography: a strange case of passiflora

No flower is weirder (IMHO) than the passionflower, of which there are two varieties currently blooming in our N TX backyard.

Passion flower. Weird. I’m just sayin’.

The first is this “standard” version (Passiflora caerulea), commonly called Blue Passionflower. You can see why I call it weird: it appears to have been designed either by committee or an artistically-minded schizophrenic. What are all those parts supposed to do, anyway? (And no, I’m not fishing for a botanical drill down, thanks very much.)

Green passionflower – fuzzy photo, sorry

The second variety is Green Passionflower (Passiflora tenuiloba), a far more inconspicuous yet no less curious variety whose bloom, instead of being big and showy, is extremely difficult to locate due to its size (smaller than a dime) and generally drab coloration. Furthermore, this vine tends to put out blooms only in high places beyond the range of my tripod’s telescoping legs. Thus the shaky nature of the photo above, which was the best I could do hand-held at 105mm macro.

Jewels of Opar

To clear your perceptional palate of the prior shaky-cam photo, I’m including this shot of the tiny decorative blossoms of the Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum), quite curious in its own right. The blooms are so miniscule they are barely noticeable except for their brilliant color. Same goes for their seedpods, which as you can see are bright red.

And finally, I leave you with this shot of some eggs Anne discovered under the leaf of a plant she was pruning. It was only after processing the image that we also discovered the tiny spidery creatures surrounding them, which appeared to our naked eyes as mere specs of dirt.

Eggs with spidery creatures

A fine example of the surprises in store for those who take up macro photography – and, perhaps, a cautionary tale.

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10 thoughts on “Bathrobe photography: a strange case of passiflora

  1. The passionflower gave the early geneticists fits. The book, A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology details the early confusion about this plant’s unusual chromosome pattern.

  2. I’ve yet to get any blooms to open on my passion vines. The fritillary caterpillars not only eat all the leaves, but the unopened buds as well. My passionvines are green sticks most of the summer. As soon as a leaf dares to sprout, the butterflies are on it laying eggs.

    • Good for your fritillaries gardengirl? But sorry for your missed flower viewing ops. Oddly, we haven’t seen many fritillaries yet this season, but LOTS of swallowtails. Maybe you can shoo some of your guys over in our direction.

  3. Have seen very few swallowtails, even though there’s fennel and parsley planted for them. I dont’ know what drives them from year to year. A few years ago the fennel was eaten to the ground — we counted about 35 swallowtail caterpillars on one plant alone. The next year not many. I’m grateful for whatever butterflies that come my way.

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